Project 2000


-- Adopted at the September, 1997 GPCA Plenary Session of the General Assembly --
These findings of the Green Party of California General Assembly are to serve as a statement of intent to be used in interpretation and implementation of this resolution. They reflect the understanding of the delegates who have adopted this resolution.
The Green Party of California's influence, electoral effectiveness, volunteer pool, fundraising base, and organizational  viability will be greatly enhanced if we increase our number of registrants.
When we register 300,000 members, we will be the third largest party in California. We need 300,000 registrants to reach the size necessary to develop a grassroots base that can financially support statewide staff, offices, and newsletter production.
The Green Party had its greatest credibility and visibility as a grassroots political party when we had hundreds of activists on the streets tabling and talking to Californians face-to-face. To regain our momentum, we need to revive our tabling culture and again be visible at grocery stores, post offices, coffee houses, concerts, farmers' markets, and public events around the state.
This plan can succeed only if County organizations maintain year-round tabling operations across the state. Tabling is by nature a grassroots, decentralized operation that can be properly conducted only at the local level. All Green Party registrants should be contacted by the Party at least once after they register, to be given information about how to get actively involved in the Party. If economically feasible, every registrant should be contacted at least once a year to keep them aware and informed.
The Green Party of California is committed to decentralization as one of its Ten Key Values, and consists of county and local groups which operate with autonomy. The Green Party of California is an experiment in "bottom-up" rather than "top-down" authority, with a great need to develop means for maintaining communication among all elements of the party, for keeping clear and accessible records and minutes, and for sharing resources and skills.
The Green Party of California is a statewide political party with members in areas of the state that have no county or local Green Party organization yet in place.
In places where County organizations and locals exist there is a need for sharing resources, knowledge, and skills with Greens around the state.
There is a need for an address and phone number where the Secretary of State, Green Party County Councils, the media, Green Party members, and the general public can reliably contact the Green Party of California to give and receive information.
Campaigns often conclude with no permanent mechanism for maintaining valuable contacts, lists, campaign experience and other resources that may be of use to campaigns and projects that follow.
The Green Party has a need for stable year-round programs that provide consistent service and that have predictable staffing and budgetary needs; and there is a need for such programs to be insulated from the strains and volatility caused by the demands of election campaigns.
There are resources that are available to build the Green Party of California that are often not available for specific projects or candidates that the party may be supporting.
The General Assembly of the Green Party of California, acting as a council of local county organizations, is the policy-making body of the Green Party of California and has ultimate responsibility and liability for Green Party of California affairs at the state level. The Coordinating Committee is responsible for conducting the affairs of the Party between Plenary Sessions of the General Assembly.
Sacramento is the state capital and the first place that Green Party members, the media, and the general public will look when trying to contact the Green Party of California.
The San Francisco Bay area is the area of the state where we have our greatest concentration of available volunteers.
Southern California is the area of the state with the greatest potential for growth.
Authority and responsibility tend to accrue to a small number of volunteers, creating burnout, resentment, and organizational myopia, unless a conscious effort is made to distribute authority and responsibility.
The Green Party needs to develop stability, fiscal responsibility, and sound operating procedures in order to be a viable organization.
The Party wishes to balance the need for mandated rotation to achieve turnover and change with the need to allow adequate continuity and stability to carry projects through to successful completion. Party members must learn to trust one another and to take risks in the interest of gaining the political viability to manifest Green policies and visions.
The General Assembly is a policy-making body which meets infrequently and cannot manage the day-to-day business of running an office, managing staff, and providing service for constituents. The Coordinating Committee is an appropriate body to make policy decisions, settle disputes, and provide guidance to staff between Plenary Sessions of the General Assembly. A Personnel Committee of a small number of members of the Coordinating Committee would be most appropriate for personnel matters which require clear accountability and/or immediate response.
The Green Party of California needs personnel policies in place and a personnel committee to negotiate with staff and oversee our activity as employers.
The Green Party of California members honor labor and believe that our employees are entitled to fair wages, comprehensive benefits, safe and comfortable working conditions, and the resources and support to work to their potential.
Having a staff of more than three people (1) avoids 100% turnover when people leave, (2) allows for a greater variety of skills, (3) enhances opportunity for racial and gender diversity, (4) facilitates statewide coverage, and (5) contributes to staff collegiality and higher morale.
The General Assembly wishes to strike a balance between the desire to set rigid guidelines for control of a project done under its auspices and the desire to create a work environment with latitude for empowered committee members and Staff to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
The Green Party of California wishes to utilize the wisdom and skills of its members who have a history of service to the party, but not to the exclusion of new people with new ideas and a desire to learn through service. The Green Party wishes to avoid hierarchy in the decision-making processes and wishes the lines of authority to reflect the grassroots nature of the organization. It is essential that lines of accountability be clear. Staff needs to know to whom they are immediately accountable.
The Green Party of California will remain primarily a volunteer-run effort of County organizations and stateWorking Groups. The delegates recognize that having paid staff will result in the need for more volunteer work, not less, if this project is to succeed.
The delegates recognize that staff is explicitly hired to carry out the programs created in this resolution and are not the service staff to the General Assembly, the Coordinating Committee, Working Groups, or County Councils. Duties and responsibilities should not be added to the Coordinating Committee and its staff without consideration of staffing levels and priority of job assignments.
The Green Party of California should demonstrate an ability to raise funds before obligating resources and entering into leases and contract and employer/employee relationships.
As an organization with paid staff, we should build a reserve fund adequate to meet payroll for at least six weeks.
With few exceptions, County Council and locals are not fundraising by direct mail. A statewide direct mail campaign will assure that all Green Party registrants are contacted and asked to contribute. By printing and purchasing materials at the state level, we will achieve an economy of scale.
For County organizations to participate in the voter registration drive and the direct mail fundraising campaign, County Green Parties will need to receive tangible benefits, materials, and services from the state party. The Coordinating Committee and Staff should always work to increase the quality and quantity of services and material available to County organizations and work to ensure that County organizations benefit from the state party's legal status relative to the elections code and postal regulations, and other advantages afforded a ballotqualified state party.
We recognize significant differences between County organizations regarding the need for material help, level of current activity, level of potential for future activity, political priorities, and self-definition regarding what constitutes a successful County organization.
The registration drive, newsletter, information clearinghouse, and direct mail fundraising campaign are means to an end and not an end in themselves. We are working to further a politics based on Green values and not simply to perpetuate a business operation.
The best way to ensure that materials and services are going to where they are best utilized is to establish a minimum level of material support for each active County organization and increase the amount of material support as their registration numbers increase.
The Green Party wishes to address these needs and concerns beginning in late 1997 and we need considerable work done between Plenary sessions of the General Assembly to meet that goal. A working budget is necessary when fundraising and when hiring staff.
The 1001 San Francisco Bay Regional registration drive with its tabling operation, paid staff, newsletter, offices, information clearinghouse, and direct mail fundraising campaign succeeded in registering over 65,000 Green Party members and raising over $100,000.00 in eleven months. The Green Party of California should in all practical ways follow the business practices and principles of that successful undertaking. We also are mindful of the shortcomings of that operation and will take steps to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
THEREFORE, THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY at the Plenary Session of September (Fall) 1997 resolved to establish and maintain, under the auspices of the Coordinating Committee, offices with staff to run a State Clearinghouse, assist locals in establishing tabling operations for voter registration, produce and distribute a statewide newsletter, and conduct a direct mail campaign in a manner consistent with the wishes of the Green Party of California General Assembly as expressed in this resolution and subsequent amendments.
The Green Party of California shall maintain staffed offices in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area and Southern California to act as a clearinghouse for the Green Party of California. It shall be the responsibility of the Coordinating Committee and by delegation to its subcommittees and staff to:
1. Coordinate Clearinghouse, newsletter, registration drive, and direct mail fundraising activities with Working Groups, County Councils, and Locals.
2. Archive Green Party publications and the minutes from meetings of all General Assembly Plenary Sessions, Working Groups, County Councils, and Green Locals as they become available.
3. Develop and distribute information packets on the Green Party to the media and develop a variety of information packets to distribute in response to inquiries from the public.
4. Receive, route, and respond to correspondence (including letters, e-mail and voicemail).
5. Collect, process, and distribute voter data.
6. Provide "how-to" information on consensus process, record keeping, election and FPPC laws and regulations, fundraising, and other topics as needs arise.
7. Provide assistance in research, communication, education, record keeping and logistics to Working Groups, County Councils and Locals as relevant to the mandates of this resolution.
8. Produce and distribute a statewide newsletter as a recruitment tool and vehicle to disseminate information.
9. Conduct a statewide direct-mail campaign to all state Green Party registrants.
10. Provide training and support for County organizations in tabling, phone bank operation, and organizing procedures and techniques.
11. Order and distribute premiums, t-shirts, buttons, stickers, and other similar items.
12. Recruit and train volunteers.
13. Receive and deposit contributions under supervision of the Treasurer.
14. Maintain a database of contributors and provide regular reports to active County organizations with the names and addresses for contributors in their county.
15. Prepare and distribute staff activity reports for review by the General Assembly, Working Groups, and County organizations.
The Coordinating Committee, the Treasurer, and the staff shall carry out their duties in accordance with the bylaws of the Green Party of California. This resolution is not intended as an amendment to the bylaws of the Green Party of California. Should this resolution or its amendments conflict with the bylaws, the bylaws shall take precedence.
The Coordinating Committee will be the body with authority over the staff of the Green Party of California. The Coordinating Committee shall establish a personnel committee to advise the Coordinating Committee and the General Assembly on employment issues and to negotiate with staff over wages, hours, and working conditions. The Personnel Committee shall consist of five (5) members, to include the Liaison to the Secretary of State, the Treasurer, a Coordinating Committee member representing a northern California region, a Coordinating Committee member representing a southern California region, and one other Coordinating Committee member representing any region or at-large. The Coordinator of the Personnel Committee will be the Treasurer unless the Coordinating Committee chooses to appoint another member of the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee will be responsible for developing and carrying out personnel policy. All policy is subject to approval by the full Coordinating Committee and may be adopted by the Coordinating Committee subject to review by the General Assembly at the first opportunity.
The staff shall report directly to the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee will designate one member of the staff as a Lead Worker. The Lead Worker will be responsible for supervision of other staff. The Personnel Committee shall be responsible for the recruitment and hiring of the Lead Worker. The process shall be an open recruitment widely advertised and the Coordinating Committee and Working Group Coordinators shall participate in the application review and/or interview procedure.
The Personnel Committee and the Lead Worker shall be responsible for the recruitment and hiring of all other staff. The process shall be an open recruitment widely advertised and the Coordinating Committee and Working Group Coordinators shall participate in the application review and/or interview procedure. The Coordinator of the Personnel Committee shall be the appointing authority of record.
The Coordinating Committee and the Treasurer shall be responsible for securing funds adequate for the operation of the State Clearinghouse.
The Treasurer shall present a budget reflecting the activities of the Coordinating Committee for approval by the General Assembly at the first scheduled Plenary Session of the calendar year. The Coordinating Committee and the Treasurer are responsible for adherence to the budget as approved.
The Treasurer shall open bank accounts as necessary and shall maintain accounts related to this resolution as part of the business of the Green Party of California. Funds may be used only for those purposes which are mandated in the annual budget of the Coordinating Committee or which fall under the mandate of the Coordinating Committee as defined in this resolution and subsequent amendments. At no time shall Coordinating Committee funds be used for any purpose that could reasonably lead to the conclusion that the Coordinating Committee was acting as any form of "campaign committee" as defined and regulated by federal, state, or local campaign finance laws. At no time shall Coordinating Committee funds be used in a manner that could reasonably be construed as a "campaign contribution," either monetary or in-kind, to any "campaign committee" as defined and regulated by federal, state, or local campaign finance laws.
For the purpose of authorizing the Coordinating Committee to raise and spend funds in compliance with this resolution, the General Assembly amends the 1997 Green Party of California budget to include the "Start-Up Budget" and the "1997-1998 Monthly Budget" as described below. Subject to annual review, the General Assembly tentatively accepts the projected 1998, 1999, and 2000 budgets as the fiscal portion of a three-year business plan for the Coordinating Committee and its State Clearinghouse functions.
The Treasurer and the Coordinating Committee will make a good-faith effort to follow the parameters of this budget; however it is understood that should the projected income be less than anticipated, the Treasurer and the Coordinating Committee may make adjustments to expenditures to avoid operating in a deficit. It is also understood that the true cost of rent may vary based on negotiations with landlords and that all other expenses are estimates.
Start-Up Budget
25,000 Newsletter @ $0.13 $ 3,250.
17,250 mailing packets and precanceled stamps @ $0.30 5,175.
One month's rent in three locations 1,890.
Telephone installation and first month's costs 700.
One month's volunteer costs 600.
One and one-half months' payroll 22,950.
Misc. materials and supplies 800.
Computer, three printers, folding machine, tape drives, software, and machine stapler 6,750.
TOTAL $42,115.
These start-up funds shall be secured through major donor fundraising, loans from individuals, and the reallocation of the money in the Finance Working Groups line item currently designated for a direct mail fundraising campaign. Further, the General Assembly resolves that all funds collected through the tax form check-off program, and received from the State of California, in excess of the amount anticipated in the Green Party of California 1997 budget as approved in March of 1997, shall be allocated to the Coordinating Committee to implement the programs prescribed in this resolution.
This plan is based on the 1991 experience of mailing a letter to each Green Party registrant asking them to subscribe to Green Consensus and having 6% respond with an average of $33.
This plan is designed to grow the organization by recruiting an additional 90,000 members by the end of 1998 and an additional 120,000 in 1999 for a total of 300,000 registrants in the year 2000.
The fiscal viability of this plan beyond the year 2000 (after achieving 300,000 registrants) depends on maintaining a base of at least 15,000 subscribers statewide through a renewal rate of 77% combined with picking up 3,450 new subscribers a year. We will need ongoing registration of 4,800 new Greens per month to mail to. We also need to mail to all members who did not respond the first time at least once a year and achieve a residual response rate of about 1%.
1997 and 1998 - Monthly Budget
Green Consensus Statewide Distribution Project, State Clearinghouse, and Voter Registration Drive for 200,000 members by January 1999:
1,035 subscribers at average of $33. contribution $34,155.
35,000 newsletters (8 page, 2 color, soy ink, recycled paper, web print, union bug) for subscription packet, for subscribers, and for distribution to locals for tabling @ $0.13 (25,000 first month - 45,000 last month for average of 35,000 per month)
$ 4,550.
17,250 Subscription / fundraising packets (#10 env, #9 env, 2-sided  merge letter, response card, local flyer, non-profit precancelled stamp) @ $0.30
1,035 Premium packets / subscription liability:
518 tee-shirts @ $4.00 $2,072.
1,035 bumper stickers @ $0.35 362.
1,035 buttons @ $0.35 362.
1,035 postage for 12 newsletters 1,490. 4,286.
Depreciation / replacement / upgrade: Printer, folding machine, computer 250.
Rent of Sacramento office 630.
Rent of Bay Area office 630.
Rent of Southern California office 630.
800 Number 300.
Phonebank Line 300.
Business Line 300.
Volunteer Costs (food, reminder postcards, thank yous) 800.
Payroll for 4 FTEs of staff: Lead Worker, Editor, Organizers 15,300.
Miscellaneous supplies 1,004.
TOTAL $34,155.
1999 and 2000 - Monthly Budget
Green Consensus Statewide Distribution Project, State Clearinghouse, and Voter Registration Drive for 300,000 members by January 2000:
800 Renewals at an average $33. contribution $26,400.
250 New subscribers from new registrants at an average $33. contribution 8,250.
250 New subscribers from 2nd mailing to 10,000 registrants at an
average $33. contribution 6,600.
TOTAL $41,250.
50,000 newsletters (8 page, 2 color, soy ink, recycled paper, web print, union bug) for subscription packet, for subscribers, and for
distribution to locals for tabling @ $0.13 (45,000 first month - 55,000 last month for average of 50,000 per month) $ 6,500.
15,250 Subscription / fundraising packets (#10 env, #9 env, 2-sided merge letter, response card, local flyer, non-profit precancelled stamp) @ $0.30  4,575.
1,035 Premium packets / subscription liability:
625 tee-shirts @ $4.00 $2,500.
1,035 bumper stickers @ $0.35 438.
1,035 buttons @ $0.35 438.
1,035 postage for 12 newsletters 1,800. 5,176.
Depreciation / replacement / upgrade: Printer, folding machine, computer 250.
Rent of Sacramento office 630.
Rent of Bay Area office 630.
Rent of Southern California office 630.
800 Number 300.
Phonebank Line 300.
Business Line 300.
Volunteer Costs (food, reminder postcards, thank yous) 800.
Payroll for 4 FTEs of staff: Lead Worker, Editor, Organizers 16,440.
Miscellaneous supplies 1,019.
Additional material support to County organizations 1,700.
Coordinating Committee Emergency Reserve Fund / Debt Service 2,000.
TOTAL $41,250.
The Coordinating Committee may not hire any staff or sign any agreement obligating the Green Party to any lease until it has secured in excess of $20,000 in assets available for this project.
The Treasurer is authorized to borrow up to $30,000 for the purpose of capitalizing this project.
Full disclosure of risk will be made to any prospective creditor, employee, or contractor.
If by the last General Assembly Plenary Session of 1998, funds adequate for the operation of the Clearinghouse have not been raised, and no Clearinghouse staff is functioning, then this resolution shall sunset at that time. Should anticipated income exceed anticipated expenses, the Treasurer is authorized to accelerate the pay-down of debt and/or accelerate the build-up of the Coordinating Committee Emergency Reserve Fund. The Coordinating Committee Emergency Reserve Fund shall not exceed an amount equal to 12% of total annual personnel costs. Either action is subject to review by the Finance Working Group and the General Assembly at the following Plenary Session.
No one may be hired for a staff position until detailed personnel policy statements and a job description for the position have been drafted and approved by the Coordinating Committee.
Staff shall be hired as employees with benefits. Some services such as bookkeeping may be contracted. The Green Party of California is committed to being an equal opportunity employer with an affirmative action program and shall conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Green Party of California shall comply with all state and federal workplace standards.
The Coordinating Committee shall raise funds through direct mail campaigns aimed at Green Party registrants for the purpose of offering status as Contributing Members. The Coordinating Committee shall establish a range of premiums and benefits for contributors of various amounts. A one-year subscription to the newsletter will be offered to contributors, as well as t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, et cetera, depending on the size of the contribution. All contributions received as a result of the direct mail campaign will be credited in the full amount to the earned income of the Coordinating Committee in whole unless otherwise noted by the donor. On a quarterly basis, the Coordinating Committee will provide each active county organization with an  accounting of the money raised from members registered in their county.
The Coordinating Committee will supply each active county with newsletters to be used for tabling, and buttons and bumper stickers to use to raise funds while tabling. Active county organizations will be supplied with a minimum amount of these materials for free and will receive larger allocations of free materials based on their increase in registration and on the percentage of contributing members in their county. The amount of materials produced to be supplied to active county organizations will be based on the amount of funds available after fixed expenses, payroll, debt, and reserve obligations have been met.
For the purpose of this resolution, an active county organization is defined as a county which has a tabling operation in effect, has a County Council with at least one member elected at the last state primary, is no more than 90 days in arrears on dues to the Green Party of California, has designated a Treasurer or other member who is responsible for the financial business of the County organization and has notified the State Treasurer of such, has bylaws on file with the state's Bylaws Working Group, and which holds meetings open to Green Party members at least once every three months.
For the purpose of this resolution, a Local is defined as a Green Party group within a county that is recognized by an active County organization as having standing.
For the purpose of this resolution, staff refers to employees and contractors hired by the Coordinating Committee to carry out the functions of the Clearinghouse, the newsletter, the voter registration drive, and the direct mail fundraising campaign.
The Coordinating Committee in its Clearinghouse function shall make no public statements on any matter either for itself or on behalf of the Green Party of California unless such position originated from a spokesperson with authorization from the General Assembly or a Working Group Coordinator or unless such statement originates from the party platform or an approved resolution of the General Assembly.
The Treasurer is authorized to borrow funds necessary for capitalizing this project. The Treasurer may not obligate the Green Party of California to a total debt greater than the sum of the Cash Reserve Account, the Reserve for Debt Retirement Account, and $40,000.
The Coordinating Committee shall not begin the direct mail and newsletter program in any active county which currently is raising funds by direct mail and publishes a newsletter until the county and the Coordinating Committee reach mutual agreement to proceed.
The Green Party of California shall voluntarily recognize an organization of its employees for the purpose of collective bargaining upon receipt of a verified petition or signature cards representing a majority of the covered employees.
The Treasurer will keep itemized detailed journals of all financial transactions of the Green Party of California. Each entry will include the name of the individual or organization doing business with the Green Party of California. Journals will be available for inspection at all Green Party of California state gatherings and plenary sessions of the Green Party of California General Assembly. Journals will be available for inspection upon request by any member of the Green Party of California.
This resolution will supersede all prior resolutions of the General Assembly of the Green Party of California as they pertain to the Clearinghouse, newsletter, direct mail fundraising, or conduct of a state registration drive. This resolution shall be effective immediately upon adoption by the General Assembly of the Green Party of California at a full Plenary Session.
Note: The GPCA General Assembly authorized the restructuring of this resolution to better organize the "findings" and to integrate the amendments into the appropriate sections of the resolution.